Most of you are keenly aware of the intentional (but stealth) strategy of employers to impose forced arbitration on their workers in order to prevent them from going to court when their workplace rights are violated. You know that when employers succeed in doing this, workers lose. Forced arbitration enables employers to opt out of our country’s workers’ rights laws and to shield themselves from public accountability when they break the law.
The New York Times published a three-part special report, Beware The Fine Print, which exposes how corporations use forced arbitration to deny workers and consumers access to the courts and the injustices they suffer as a result. We must seize this moment and harness the power of NELA—the largest plaintiffs’ employment law firm in the country—to call on Congress to end forced arbitration, which imperils the protection, enforcement, and vindication of employee rights. Here’s what you can do:
- Tailor this template letter to send to your members of Congress urging them to cosponsor the Arbitration Fairness Act (AFA, S.1133/H.R. 2087) if they are not already cosponsors. Here are the links to current cosponsors of the AFA in the Senate and the House. If your members of Congress are cosponsors of the AFA, write to thank them for their leadership and let them know that you stand with them on this important legislation.
- Write an Op-Ed or Letter to the Editor for your local newspaper about the injustices of forced arbitration using stories from your own law practice and clients, and the policies of local businesses or industries, to make your message relevant to your community and particular members of Congress. Op-ed and Letter to the Editor guidelines for major national and local newspapers can be found on the Communications Consortium Media Center’s website. If you don’t see guidelines for your newspaper, simply search the name of it (or blog or other news outlet) along with the words “Op Ed guidelines” or “Letters to the Editor.”If you want to talk over your piece or need a pep talk to get started, please email or Laura Flegel, NELA’s Legislative & Public Policy Director. She will gladly help or direct you to NELA members who have volunteered to share their communications expertise and who are interested in writing about this topic. Laura can be reached at email@example.com (202) 898-2880 x115.
- If you get something published, don’t be modest—share it with us on The NELA Exchange in the Open Forum and Forced Arbitration Practice Group.